The race for the 2019 general elections is gathering steam. Alliances, consultations and other features of Nigerian politics are being seen and felt. With special attention to the two major political parties in the country, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), political pundits are on the lookout for who will likely emerge as the party flag bearers of the various political parties.

For anyone who truly values good governance and wellbeing of the country over and above personal or other basic and primordial interests, a major point of departure from the political landscape is an increased demand for competence. It gladdens the heart that for more section of the electorates would cast their votes for a candidate who can lead them aright. Put differently, a presidential material of this dispensation will be one who can guarantee security of lives and property, reverse the dwindling economy, restore love, mutual trust and confidence among the various ethnic nations of the Federation and ultimately able to lead the country to achieve its national goal.

Obviously, the incumbent despite the enormous goodwill lavished on him cannot be said to have done well in these areas. This automatically gives the PDP a rather unfair opportunity to right its wrongs.

At the moment, many party shots are jostling across the Niger with hope of getting enough support and goodwill to clinch the PDP presidential tickets. Typical with Nigerian political class, the extents of desperation are usually unimaginable.

To be frank, many of those who have indicated interest in the number one office in the land deserve it only by the franchise that the constitution confers on them, the rush and desperation notwithstanding. If we should zero in on antecedents and other factors like acceptance across ethnic and religious lines, only a few of them would scale the hurdle.

For instance, there have been calls across the Northern and Southern parts of the country beckoning on Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe state to take of the daunting task of returning the country to the path of unity and peace, peace and progress. This is indeed humbling for some of his contemporaries whose desperations have reached embarrassing proportions.

The call by people of goodwill across the country also shows that Nigeria is not unmindful of outstanding performances. But beyond anything else it is indeed ironic that Ibrahim Dankwambo has yet to declare any intentions to run for the presidency.

What then is so special about the man Dankwambo?

A quick search shows that Dankwambo is topping the chart and for the right reasons. This curiosity to know more about him attest to the growing interest in the potentiality of his presidency. Frankly, Governor Dankwambo has made a name for himself as a man of excellence.

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo may not be everyone’s favorite but his administration’s attachment with the finest technocrats remains a legacy to beat. The quest for the very best led him to locate and appoint Dankwambo as Nigeria’s number one accountant, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF).

Talking about Dankwambo, it will amount to injustice against him if anyone fails to note his high sense of integrity. He is one man who through his public service engagements has a clean sheet. He has an history of not only excelling in his job but refusing to dip his hands into the cookie jar. No indictment, no prosecution. This is clearly one area of strength that his contemporaries wish they have.

It used to be known and said that Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo’s person elicited quiet conversations, this view is no longer accurate. With the overwhelming call that he joins the presidential race, it can only be correct to say that the ovation is loudest.

As Accountant-General of the Federation under the Obasanjó administration, Dankwambo was highly instrumental to the introduction of many innovative reforms. It may interest young readers today that such policies as the Treasury Single Account TSA, E-payment and Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System IPPIS, Government Integrated Financial Management Information System GIFMIS are a brainchild of the man Dankwambo. These innovative ideas and his cool and likable nature would later become the oil that makes his political wheel run smoothly.

Dankwambo became the Chief Executive of Gombe State, the Jewel of the Savannah! Without necessarily comparing his leadership qualities with his contemporaries elsewhere across the country, though this is inevitable, the Dankwambo’s leadership became a model. It leadership is a classic example for those who are already gunning for the presidency. An irony.

As a result of his meritorious service in his first term as governor, the 2015 political tsunami that swept his contemporaries could not as much shake him. The Buhari and APC effect, strong as it then was, was a dismal failure in Gombe. The endorsement of the Gombe people of Governor Dankwambo remained massive and unshakable. He was re-elected for a second term in office.

So, with his emergence as the last man standing, the self-effacing and visionary leader had the people answer the skeptics that he is real and most importantly, that power does not change those who hold it in trust and see it as opportunity to serve God and humanity.

Now more than ever before, the question, who is Dr Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo is still being echoed in high crescendo in both low and high quarters, near and distant lands. Yet, answers are being thrown up by various organizations and communities.

If what will matter in the 2019 general elections will to a great extent, have to do with individual track record and influence, Dankwambo’s intimidating credentials as an unrivaled public servant and goodwill across the nation would be a defining factor for the party that fields him.

As a leader, Ibrahim Dankwambo’s has shown the world that quality education, prudent management of finance, agriculture, infrastructure and above all peace building and mutual coexistence is a possibility. The current needs and aspirations of every Nigerian is well captured within his competency. His achievements in Gombe state in spite of paltry fiscal accruals is a reassuring factor that a Dankwambo presidency would lift us out of our collective woes.

– Joseph writes from Ogun